Inspired by History
I received my first locked letter and I'm sharing it with you in the pictures below. Letter locking was practiced in days gone by to secure one's mail against prying eyes. The triangular fold with the red seal is simply beautiful. I wish you could feel the paper. It is a heavy paper and feels luxuriously substantial. The letter can not be opened without breaking the lock. To make a lock a tab is cut from one edge and inserted through a corresponding slit. The wax seal then secures it. The bottom picture shows the space where the tab was torn off when I opened the letter.
Everything about this letter is intentional. The ink was mixed specially to achieve an antique look and the letter was penned with a flexible dip pen. This letter is more than a message; it is an experience inspired by history.
Once upon a time postage was paid by the recipient not the sender. If the recipient didn't want to pay the postage the letter remained undelivered. A treasure chest of such letters from the seventeenth century was recently found in the Netherlands. My correspondent was inspired by this story to produce a 17th century style letter of his own and I am the happy recipient. I'm afraid my return letter was not so elegant.
Please visit The Guardian to read about this fantastic find by clicking on the letter below.